Fatal Bull Shark Attacks in Florida’s Recorded History

According to records in the International Shark Attack File, there have been five fatal bull shark attacks in Florida’s recorded history, dating back to 1988. Keep in mind that there could be some unofficially reported bull shark attacks which are not listed below that may have not been documented or may have initially misidentified a bull shark as another species.

DateVictimLocationAttack Description
Sept. 13, 1988John MartinPanama City Beach, FLKilled while snorkeling around Shell Island by a 10-foot bull shark that had caused fatal thigh and hand wounds.
Sept. 13, 1995William CovertIslamorada, FLKilled by a 10–12-foot bull shark while diving near Alligator Reef off Islamorada
August 30, 2000Thadeus KubinskiPinellas County, FLKilled while swimming behind his home pier in Pinellas County, Florida. Died from massive blood loss and organ damage before rescuers could get to him. The bull shark was estimated to be 9 feet long and weigh 400 pounds.
June 25, 2005Jamie Marie DaigleDestin, FLDaigle was killed while swimming with a friend on boogie boards about 200 yards off a beach in Walton County, Florida, 8 miles east of Destin, Florida. Witnesses estimated the shark was 6–8 feet long. Her left leg was severed and she died of massive blood loss
February 3, 2010Stephen Howard SchaferStuart, FLSchafer was attacked while kitesurfing around 4:15 p.m. about 500 yards off an unguarded section of a beach south of Stuart Beach in Martin County, Florida. Authorities initially thought multiple sharks may have been involved in the incident due to reports by rescuers that he was surrounded by sharks. The Martin County medical examiner’s office concluded he died from massive blood loss from a leg wound.
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Florida Boy Bitten by Shark in Homestead, Florida.

A seven-year old boy was bitten in the leg in the shallow waters off Homestead Bayfront Park in Homestead, Florida. According to reports from regional news outlets, the child suffered three bite marks from a small shark reportedly resembled a bull shark, but not positive identification was confirmed.

“When I went into the water, it was like an animal and it bit me,” Jacob recalled. “It was in three spots. here, here and here.”

“All we saw was the blood coming down,” his mother Ethel told WSVN.

According to Ethel, Jacob didn’t cry from the attack.

“He was cool, calm and collected,” she said. “I, on the other hand, was a mess.”

Due to the age of the victim,Jacob’s last name hasn’t been publicly disclosed, but his mother, Ethel told news media outlets that the lifeguards on duty responded quickly to treat her son’s injuries, which ultimately required 19 stitches. Jacob and his mother don’t hold a grudge against whatever may have bitten him.

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